Winter does finally appear to be moving on in most of the country. Spring is here and as contractors we are planning how we are going to maneuver through a busy summer backlog. Most would agree that we are still in a pretty strong economic cycle.
Our staff in Dallas has been busy as well. They remain diligent in trying to provide our membership with the very best educational programs for success. Keeping our core curriculum updated with the latest our industry has to offer is critical. Our Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School continues to be a big success, with full classes being the norm. Book sales are at an all-time high for apprenticeship training courses. With states such as Californian adopting Sprinkler Fitter Certification programs, the need for an apprenticeship training curriculum has never been greater.
AFSA is a fire sprinkler contractor’s association. The association was formed in the early 1980s as a means to train a merit-shop workforce within an accredited program. Over the years, through the leadership of a strong Board of Directors, AFSA has been able to stand steadfast to the core beliefs and mission statement that was the foundation of this association. We can all agree how we do business may have changed dramatically over the years, but the business model and our ability to perform quality work as merit-shop contractors has not changed. Nor has the need for this contractor’s association.
One event that is coming in May is our national leadership conference. This conference is a great opportunity for chapter leadership, chapter chairs, and executive directors to get together for a couple of days and share ideas. This conference gets bigger both in attendance and curriculum every year. It has become a popular venue for chapter leadership to learn what other chapters are successfully doing. It has been fun to watch this grow year after year. It has been equally fun to watch the friendships that have grown among the participants—friendships that may have never happened had it not been for this conference. I have said it in the past, but getting involved with this association pays great dividends.
I want to end this column by giving credit to Debra McGuire, newly hired President and CEO of AFSA. Since starting in January, Debra has jumped in running. She has been working countless hours to try and put her arms around an industry that is new to her. Debra’s knowledge of association management along with her determination to learn the fire sprinkler industry will make for a very successful future for the leadership of our association. I also want to give thanks to the entire staff at our headquarters in Dallas. Staff members have rallied around Debra and are giving all the support needed to successfully run this association.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wayne Weisz is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Fire Sprinkler Association.